South Korea’s largest shipbuilder, Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. (KSOE), has teamed up with American TerraPower invested by Microsoft founder Bill Gates as part of its drive to increase investment in next-generation energy technologies as part of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group’s hydrogen roadmap.
KSOE recently signed an investment contract worth $30 million with TerraPower, it announced on Friday.
The American designer and developer of nuclear reactors, founded by Gates in 2008, has proprietary technology to design a sodium-cooled fast reactor, a kind of next-generation small modular reactors (SMRs).
Its design helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the power generation process and reduces the risk of leaks and explosion accidents, gaining ground for a future environmentally friendly energy source. .
KSOE has been discussing a partnership with TerraPower since the beginning of the year. With the latest contract, it aims to increase investment in next-generation energy technologies. Hyundai Heavy Industries Group announced its Hydrogen Dream 2030 roadmap for the development and use of new energy sources last year.
The Korean shipyard plans to explore new business opportunities using the group’s technical prowess in nuclear power and secure innovative technologies in offshore nuclear power plants and nuclear marine propulsion.
KSOE has previously participated in the development of key facilities for the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).
“The SMR market is growing rapidly with increased growth potential under the global decarbonization initiative. The company will strive to take the lead in the next-generation power market,” a KSOE official said.
Shares of KSOE were trading up 1.47% at 75,800 won ($53.22) in Seoul midday Friday. HD Hyundai shares of the holding entity of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group gained 0.81% to 61,900 won.
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